How heartwarming to the believer is the delight that God takes in His saints! We cannot see any reason in ourselves why the Lord should take pleasure in us; we do not even take delight in ourselves, for we often have to groan, being burdened, conscious of our sinfulness and deploring our unfaithfulness. We are fearful that God's people cannot take much encouragement from us, for they surely can see our many imperfections and our follies, and so be caused to lament our infirmities rather than admire our graces. But we love to dwell upon this transcendent truth, this glorious mystery: As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so the Lord rejoices over us.
We do not read anywhere that God delights in the cloud-capped mountains or the sparkling stars, but we do read that He delights in the habitable parts of the earth, and that His delights are with the sons of men. We do not even find it written that angels give His soul delight; nor does He say, concerning cherubim and seraphim, "Thou shalt be called Hephzibah . . . for the LORD delighted in thee."1 But He does say all that to poor fallen creatures like ourselves-debased and depraved by sin, but saved, exalted, and glorified by His grace.
In what strong language He expresses His delight in His people! Who could have conceived of the Eternal One bursting into a song? Yet it is written, "He will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing."2 As He looked upon the world He had made, He said, "It is very good"; but when He looked on those who are the purchase of Jesus' blood, His own chosen ones, it seemed as if the great heart of the Infinite could restrain itself no longer but overflowed in divine exclamations of joy.
Should we not utter our grateful response to such a marvelous declaration of His love and sing, "I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation?"3
1 Isaiah 62:4 KJV
2 Zephaniah 3:17
3 Habakkuk 3:18
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 2 Samuel 17
verse 2 2 Corinthians 10
Why We Pray
Prayer is essential to the Christian life, but sometimes it seems hard. Written by a pastor with years of teaching and counseling experience, Why We Pray doesn’t simply tell us why we should pray, but instead focuses on four blessing-filled reasons that will help us want to pray.
Rather than feeling discouraged and disheartened by our inconsistent prayer, Why We Pray helps us approach God with reinvigorated confidence and joy, delighted by the privilege of talking directly to our loving, heavenly Father.
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.